Identification of biomarkers to recognize individuals with Barrett's esophagus (BE) predisposed to develop malignancy is currently a pressing issue. We utilized gene expression profiling to compare molecular signatures of normal esophagus and stomach, BE, and adenocarcinoma (AC) to identify such potential biomarkers. Over 22,000 genes were analyzed by oligonucleotide microarrays on 38 unique RNA. Unsupervised and supervised clusterings were performed on a subset of 2849 genes that varied most significantly across the specimens. Unsupervised clustering identified two discernable molecular BE profiles, one of which was similar to normal gastric tissue ("BE1"), and another that was shared by several of the AC specimens ("BE2"). The BE1 profile included expression of several genes that have been described as tumor-suppressor genes, most notably trefoil factor 1 (TFF-1). The BE2 profile included expression of genes previously found overexpressed in cancers, such as carboxylesterase-2 (CES-2). IHC demonstrated the loss of TFF-1 late in the progression of BE to AC. It also revealed CES-2 as being upregulated in AC documented to have arisen in the presence of BE. These potential biomarkers, as well as the relative expression of genes from BE1 versus those from BE2, may be validated in the future to aid in risk stratification and guide treatment protocols in patients with BE and associated AC.
- Barrett's esophagus
- Carboxylesterase 2
- Esophageal or gastric adenocarcinoma
- Tissue microarry
- Trefoil Factor 1